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Late breaking legal drama: Medical cannabis lawsuit heats up in Montgomery

This legal maneuver follows Judge James Anderson’s order granting expedited discovery to the plaintiffs, a move aimed at restoring public trust.


Late Friday evening, the ongoing battle of Alabama’s medical cannabis litigation saw a crucial development. Plaintiffs Insa Alabama, LLC and Alabama Always, LLC filed a Notice of Service for Discovery with the Montgomery Circuit Court. This move signals the intensification of legal proceedings in a case that has already captured the state’s attention.

The notice lists several key figures in the Alabama medical cannabis sphere, including Director John McMillan, Commissioners Rex Vaughn, Taylor Hatchett, Jimmie Harvey, William Saliski, Jr., and Eric Jensen, as targets for deposition. These high-profile depositions, to be conducted before a court reporter or notary public, will be thoroughly documented both stenographically and videographically. The process, expected to be exhaustive, will continue daily until all testimonies are recorded.

This legal maneuver follows Judge James Anderson’s order granting expedited discovery to the plaintiffs, a move aimed at restoring public trust in Alabama’s contentious cannabis licensing process. The court’s decision allows the plaintiffs to conduct up to six depositions, serve ten requests for production, and issue ten interrogatories and requests for admission, all within tight deadlines. The responses to these inquiries are due no later than January 19, underscoring the urgency with which the court views this matter.

The backdrop to this development follows the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission’s motion filed earlier today challenging the court’s order for expedited discovery. This motion argues that the discovery is premature given the ongoing administrative processes and asserts that the plaintiffs’ allegations are based on speculation rather than concrete evidence. The Commission is pushing back against what it perceives as an overly intrusive probe into its deliberations and decision-making, fearing the impact on its future operations.

In a bid to limit the scope of the investigation, the Commission has requested a protective order, confining discovery strictly to potential violations of the Alabama Open Meetings Act (AOMA). This plea highlights the Commission’s concerns about the invasive nature of the ordered discovery and its potential to disrupt the Commission’s functionality.

As the deadline for responses looms, all eyes are on the Montgomery Circuit Court. The outcome of this legal battle could have far-reaching implications, not just for the players involved, but for the future of medical cannabis in Alabama. Stay tuned as this legal drama unfolds in real-time.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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The biggest problem here is that the system, in its current form, is probably too broken to be repaired.